Printer Friendly

McCLATCHY FINDS NEW HOMES FOR COWLES DIVISIONS Acquisition costs offset; TCI sheds papers, plans cable role for Salt Lake Tribune

McClatchy Newspapers Inc. has softened the financial blow it is absorbing in buying the Star Tribune of Minneapolis by selling the magazine and book units of Cowles Media Co. for more money than had been anticipated.

Sacramento-based McClatchy and Cowles, owner of the Star Tribune, jointly announced the sale of Cowles Business Media Inc. and Cowles Enthusiast Media Inc. to New York-based PRIMEDIA Inc., while Cowles Creative Publishing Inc. will be acquired by a management group led by the unit's current president, Iain Macfarlane.

When McClatchy announced the $1.4 billion Cowles purchase in November 1997, CEO Gary Pruitt said the nonnewspaper properties would be sold, with the selling price anticipated to be about $150 million. The three-way transactions, expected to close in March, were valued at $208 million.

PRIMEDIA, until recently called K-III, said Cowles Enthusiast Media would be a freestanding unit within its Specialty Magazines Group while Cowles Business Media would join its trade and technical unit, Intertec. Among the titles PRIMEDIA is buying are Fly Fisherman, American Demographics, Folio:, Cable World and the SIMBA newsletters (of which NewsInc. was one until August 1997). It also will acquire the Media Central site on the World-Wide Web.

In Idaho, two newspapers will be returning to their former owner. TPC Holdings Inc. of Lewiston, Idaho, will gain the Lewiston Morning Tribune, Moscow-Pullman Daily News of Moscow, Idaho, Whitman County Gazette in Colfax, Wash., and Daily Sparks Tribune of Sparks, Nev., from Kearns-Tribune Corp., a subsidiary of cable giant Tele-Communications Inc. of Denver. TCI will retain ownership of the Salt Lake Tribune, which it bought in July 1997 with the other four newspapers when it paid $731 million for Kearns-Tribune. The Salt Lake Tribune Publishing Co., created to manage the Tribune for TCI, will continue to do so.

TCI plans to move rapidly to integrate the resources of the Salt Lake Tribune with its Salt Lake City cable system, said TCI President Leo Hindrey Jr.

"We're excited about the possibility of a hybrid cable-newspaper model in the Salt Lake City market," Hindrey said. "I would hope to do it in 1998," he added, noting that TCI has experience in other markets, specifically Chicago, where it works with the Chicago Tribune to support the cable channel Chicagoland TV (CLTV), and in the Pacific Northwest, where it and A.H. Belo Corp. of Dallas have projects. "We are anxious to do it" in Salt Lake City, Hindrey said.

Heading TPC Holdings is A.L. Alford Jr., publisher of the Lewiston paper, who sold it and the Moscow-Pullman Daily News to Kearns-Tribune in 1981. When the TCI purchase was in the works last summer, Alford proposed buying all but the Salt Lake Tribune. "It made sense to me," he said, playing as it did into "a desire by TCI to continue with the ownership of the Salt Lake Tribune as a leading western states metropolitan newspaper." Hindrey concurred, saying the smaller papers "will be wonderfully and more capably managed" by Alford.

Tribune Solutions, a technology company born in the arms of the Lewiston Morning Tribune, will continue to be owned by TCI and based in Salt Lake City. Alford said the Lewiston paper would continue to serve as a beta test site for Tribune Solutions.

On the East Coast, Journal Register Co. of Trenton, N.J., completed its $3.8 million acquisition of HVM L.L.C. of New Milford, Conn., adding eight weekly newspapers and three magazines to its mix of dailies, weeklies and magazines.

The deal was Journal Register's third acquisition in less than a month, which Robert Jelenic, the company's chairman, president and CEO, said reflected Journal Register's plans to grow aggressively now that it is a publicly traded company. That the new papers are near existing properties is coincidental, Jelenic said, although the company will take advantage of proximity to consolidate some operations, such as printing several of its Connecticut weeklies at a main printing plant in North Haven, Conn.

Jelenic said mailroom and pressroom employees at the HVM facilities were offered jobs elsewhere. "We kept virtually all the other employees," he said, and will also keep the magazines, including the Housatonic Valley Business Digest.

And in the Caribbean, the Virgin Islands Daily News has been sold by Gannett Co. Inc. to a local businessman, Jeffrey Prosser. The new owner of the 16,000-circulation six-day tabloid has appointed The Cole Group, publishers of NewsInc., to manage the business and editorial operations of the paper on an interim basis.

-- P.W.
COPYRIGHT 1998 The Cole Group
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 
Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:NewsInc
Date:Jan 19, 1998
Words:750
Previous Article:ON-LINE ENTITIES REDEFINE GOALS, LAY OFF STAFF New Century Network, InfiNet sharpen their focus to serve client newspapers
Next Article:NEW(S) MEDIA Fees for Web content begin creeping into on-line equation


Related Articles
JUST ONE MEDIA COMPANY REPORTS RED INK-$1.5 million loss at Gray is isolated grim news; three enterprises notch record results
McCLATCHY CAPTURES THE STAR OF THE NORTH $1.4 billion price for Cowles Media draws fire on Wall Street, no worry from new owner
COWLES SURPRISES INDUSTRY, LOOKS FOR NEW PATH Minnesota media firm seeks advice on future of Star Tribune, other media properties
SUMMER SALES BLITZ PUTS PAPERS IN NEW HANDS Geography is key factor as Scripps, Knight-Ridder and others trade and sell properties
MEDIANEWS MAKES BIG SALT LAKE AGENCY CHANGES Tribune manager ousted from JOA; lawsuits for control of paper to continue.
BUSINESS NOTES CAPSTONE TURBINE GETS INDUSTRY AWARD.
BUSINESS NOTES.
IN BRIEF.
FAMILY MISSES PAYMENT DEADLINE IN SALT LAKE CITY Former owners of Salt Lake Tribune say $355.5 million price too steep.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters